“And I knew that You hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent me.” John 11:42
I wish I knew Hebrew and Greek for myself, but I don’t, yet. So I’ll just have to rely on the You, Holy Spirit, and the Word itself. And I’m still searching to see what You want me to believe in and what believing looks like for real. And I’m not looking for my idea of what belief ought to look like, but I’m looking for what it resembles to You.
So, here You are, Lord, outside Lazarus’s tomb. And You pray audibly outside the tomb. But You don’t pray audibly outside the tomb because You need to. You don’t need to even call out Lazarus’s name. You’ve raised people from the dead before without a spoken word, except, “Go your way and as you have believed, so be it done unto you.” No grand words. No grand prayer. No calling forth or casting out. Not even an “It will be done.” More like, “It’s done,” just like You said at the cross, “It is finished.”
Now, here in this prayer before the tomb, You say, “And I knew that You hear me always…” Is that significant? This “eido” means “to know.” For the Greek, it meant to see and verify in order to know. It’s where our word and the idea of “theory” comes from. It’s the idea of “Seeing is believing.” Only “Seeing is believing” is man’s idea. Hear that idea in Mark 15:32 “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” But the speakers here were calling out and looking in the Hellenistic mindset. I need to see and believe in the Jesusistic mindset.
Since You would have been speaking in Hebrew, Your original word would have been “shema.” That’s the same word that so much value has always been placed on in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Was it valued because Your intent was for people to put it in jewelry and on boxes on the door? Or was the value in the hearing and doing of those things spoken of in such a way that we come to see their fruition and You in our lives?
People want to see to believe, but You want them to hear. The importance was in the words You spoke. The words You spoke were more valuable to our belief that day and today than the sight of Lazarus rising from the dead. See that word “eido” is in the past tense. God already knew what was on Your heart because You are One. That’s why You were saying this. It’s not just that You want us to see it to get it. You want us to hear and respond. Because You and the Father are One, Your will has already been heard because it’s known to You and the Father. But then You respond and He responds with You. And that’s what You want in us. You want me to hear and respond.
It really doesn’t take a realationship to see and respond. I see Lazarus arise. I am wowed. I respond in awe. I attach myself temporarily. But what happens when I stop seeing things like that? What happens when my child dies or I suffer persecution? What if I am not delivered from the sword? Is seeing enough?
If I listen and believe, there is a “dynamic relationship. I must be attuned to listening to another before I can hear in such a way that I respond…Hearing is interacting with the sound so that I am affected in my behavior. While Greek postulates the necessity of a spectator, Hebrew demands the involvement of a participant.” (Skip Moen) I want to be that participant.
You stood before the people and spoke so that they could participate in You, so that they could know that You are the Lord our God and that You are One. It wasn’t about believing when they see Lazarus rise. It was all about believing that God sent You. And the fact that God sent You meant that You were the One, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, I AM, the LORD, the ONE.
I love it when You demonstrate Yourself in miraculous ways. It’s more than wonderful. But what about all those times in between? Am I just as excited about You in the quiet and hard times? Do I want those miraculous times more than I want You? I hope not. I want to value You and Your voice even above the miraculous.
It makes me think of Enoch. He walked with God and was no more. He just walked with You daily and that so pleased You that You took Him to be with You without Enoch ever having to experience death. Did Enoch ever see anything miraculous? Maybe the most miraculous thing we can ever see in all of eternity is You. Maybe it is an absolute miracle beyond all miracles to have a dynamic relationship with the Lord of lords, the Prince of Peace, the I AM, Jesus.
“And the sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out.” John 10:3 I want to be bound to You in obedience and understanding. Only when I obey do I apprehend the beautiful sound of Your voice. It’s not about whether I can hear the frequencies. It’s about conformity. It’s all about me being ready to let You lead me wherever You want to take me. There was that day the disciples were all so excited about healing the sick and casting out demons. And lots of people got excited about Lazarus coming to life again. But what means more is to be so excited about You that I just want to hear more of You so that I can follow You more closely. I want to make that my life’s practice, to know Your voice so well from following so closely. I would love to be able to say, “I knew that You always hear me because I’m always listening to You and responding according to what I hear from You. And You, Lord, always have Your way because Your way is perfect and wonderful. And I am so excited to have been invited into the privilege of hearing You and following in Your way. What a miracle!” I don’t ever want to be a disconnected spectator. I want to be so entwined with You that I abide in You and You in me. Hey! That’s what You want for me too! Amen!